How To Improve School Safety: Security Tips (2024)

Improving school safety and security can be troublesome today, especially with security threats increasing in the past year. There are many options on the market, whether you’re an educator or a school official. 

With so many different safety methods, there are guaranteed to be methods that fit your tastes. Preparing your school and students for any security threats is an absolute must, especially to preserve the quality of education. 

This article outlines methods for further protecting your school and campus to help you improve school safety and create a supportive environment for everyone. 

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11 Expert Tips for Improving School Safety and Security

1. Upgrade or Install Security Cameras

Be active in trying to improve school safety and security. One of the most effective ways to have safer schools is by installing or upgrading existing security cameras. Nowadays, most security cameras have higher resolution and cloud storage capabilities that make it faster and easier to identify intruders. 

11 tips to improve school security

Utilizing this type of security can prevent assaults, suspicious activity, and incidents like vandalism; just post signs for awareness.  

Most surveys have concluded that having security cameras for schools makes faculty and students feel safer. It also discourages students who wish to cause harm or crimes on campus. 

A crucial aspect to look for before purchasing a video surveillance device is the ability to share footage with emergency responders easily. This capability increases the chance that help will arrive before a disaster or crime can continue. 

2. Upgrade or Install a VMS (Video Management Software) for CCTV

Upgrading or installing your Video Management software is crucial to analyze your CCTV footage quickly. This ensures that the content your security cameras records can be easily searched to find license plate numbers, particular articles of clothing, and specific moments in time. 

Upgrading your VMS for video surveillance allows advanced and novice users to see when alarms were activated, access was denied into the building, and alerts were triggered due to unknown license plates entering the parking lot.

Utilizing video management software ensures a safe school environment for students and staff. This is because it can easily identify and narrow down instances of misdemeanors and theft. Having footage stored in the cloud ensures data retention even if power outages or system failures occur. 

3. Upgrade or Install an Access Control System

Access control systems are essential to school grounds, especially with recent school shootings, and also prevent kids from leaving without authorization. Options include being able to preview who will leave and who will enter the school district and also enable monitoring of those areas near entrances. It also secures the school property by stopping potential intruders at the perimeter and tracking entry times.

In addition to keeping tabs on who enters school buildings, it’s important to have a vestibule area to verify with main office staff before allowing entry to unidentified people, and having a buzzer or a camera alongside security systems is an absolute must, as it is important to verify any new visitors entering the campus. 

4. Upgrade or Install Burglar alarms.

By updating and installing burglar alarms, school administrators can ensure the safety of the students and faculty within school grounds, especially when intruders have malicious intent. 

Emergency notification systems help employees initiate preparedness procedures when the moment strikes and be useful in monthly drills. Most of these burglar alarms also come with software to alert faculty with notifications via email, phone, and more. 

Installing up-to-date burglar alarms is essential, especially within a large school. This provides a way to actively alert faculty and protect students in the case of an emergency situation or if the school is broken into during the school day or even non-operating hours. 

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5. Hire a School Resource Officer

Hiring a school resource officer is a viable option for updating your school’s security. They develop security and access control plans and train faculty on proper security procedures and counseling services. 

Having a specialized professional in student safety will aid the progression of increasing security within your school system. 

Hiring a professional consultant for mental health issues will support students in overcoming their emotional struggles and mental illness. The school should provide counseling services and mental health services for a healthy learning environment. 

School resource officers increase school security because of their specialty in protecting and serving an educational environment. These officers also promote open-door policies among the students and faculty by providing mentoring sessions, academic performance evaluations, social services, legal aid, and school community services. 

6. Regularly Practice Your Lockdown Procedure

Some of the best security practices are lockdown procedures. These procedures can encourage students to know what to do and avoid and provide teachers with information on what to do in an emergency. 

Since these incidents are never planned, it is important to practice lockdown procedures often and update them accordingly with the government’s emergency protocols. Ensure to enforce sessions that teach staff and encourage students about helpful methods. 

There are many lockdown procedures, including Shelter-in-place, internal threat, external threat, and full lockdown. These methods all address different emergency situations, such as active shooters, hostage situations, and national disasters. 

Regularly Practice Your Fire Drill

7. Regularly Practice Your Fire Drill

Practicing your fire drills is crucial in case of an actual fire. This is because the sheer multitude of students in schools usually causes chaos that could congest accessible escape routes. 

Educating students and teachers about the routes to take in case of a fire and what to take with them will help them escape easily and efficiently. As always, it is important to inform and educate employees and children within school systems about fire procedures. 

The key to maintaining order during fire drills is instructing students to follow orders quietly and exit from access doors. It would help if you aimed to conduct fire drills at least once yearly, especially at the start of each term. 

8. Regularly Practice Your Disaster Drill

This drill provides ways to prevent injury during natural or unnatural disasters, such as extreme weather, lockdowns, or bomb threats. By practicing safety methods within your school often, your chances of success will be greatly increased. 

Always being prepared and educated to improve school safety and security is important. The main reason for regularly practicing a disaster drill is that it provides a plan in case of an unanticipated event. 

Performing hold simulation drills will increase the readiness of students and staff when unprecedented times occur. Make sure to preserve the intention of this exercise as a learning opportunity so that students will not feel too much pressure during active shooter drills. 

9. Review Your First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits must be reviewed fully and often to preserve the quality of assistance at schools. Increased security in schools requires that first aid kits be up-to-date and coded so that wound health problems can be treated quickly and effectively in an emergency. 

An updated First Aid Kit is important, especially if the hospital is not near the school or an emergency vehicle is detained. 

Consistently maintaining a first aid kit in sight within a classroom or a school hallway promotes a sense of safety while in school. In addition, it is important to prioritize training teachers and faculty in first aid. This allows staff to become more aware of the different types of accidents, illnesses, and treatments possible in school settings. 

Train Staff on School Security Procedures
Ready for disaster – checking off the items on the emergency preparedness form

10. Train Staff on School Security Procedures

Training your staff on school security prevents any mishaps in an emergency. If your faculty feels uncertain about making a school safer, this method will increase comfort and staff awareness.

All staff are important when it comes to school security procedures. The lunchroom is just as susceptible to security breaches as other areas of the school. 

11. Involve Parents in School Safety

Involve Parents in School Safety

An important and often overlooked aspect of school security is involving parents. Your school should provide parents with informational packets containing actions that they can implement in their own emergency procedures or information regarding the school’s procedures for safety and security. 

It is also important to convey to parents that they should listen to their child’s concerns or opinions on school safety to ensure that students feel safe within the institution. Ensuring parent’s trust in the school system’s safety measures will help them feel more at ease during enrollment. 

In addition, encouraging parents to be more actively involved in school procedures and activities will make them partners in the security plan of the whole student body and community.

FAQs

What helps students feel safe at school?

Students feel safe at school when they see visible security measures such as CCTV cameras and security personnel monitoring the premises. Periodic inspections of local police surveillance can also help. 

Knowing that systems are in place to respond quickly to emergencies and incidents can also contribute to a positive school climate. 

What are the biggest safety issues in schools?

Some of the biggest safety issues in schools include bullying, school violence, violent crime, unauthorized access to school premises, outdated security technology, and threats of school shootings. 

These issues can significantly impact students’ physical and emotional well-being and require proactive measures to address effectively.

How do you ensure safety in schools?

School safety can be ensured through security measures such as installing CCTV surveillance cameras, implementing access controls, conducting regular security assessments, hiring security guards, and providing staff training on emergency communications protocols. 

Also, fostering a supportive and inclusive school culture can prevent incidents and promote safety among students and staff.

In what ways can educators make schools safer for all students?

Educators can make schools safer for all students by promoting a positive school climate, establishing clear rules and consequences, implementing violence prevention programs, and bullying prevention. 

Neighborhood watch programs can give support services to students who may be experiencing difficulties. Collaboration with parents, community members, and local law enforcement agencies can also enhance school safety efforts.

Key Takeaways

Implementing strategies to enhance school safety is essential for creating a safe environment conducive to academic success and personal well-being.

By following these tips, including conducting risk assessments, implementing security measures, fostering a safety culture, and collaborating with stakeholders, school leaders can effectively mitigate potential threats and ensure the safety and security of students, staff, and visitors. 

Prioritizing proactive safety measures underscores the commitment to safeguarding the school community and promoting school safety and a positive educational experience for all.  

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